| Sanjit Kumar - Livelihood Trust for Sustainable Social
Advancement - Latehar, Jharkhand
Population in Latehar (Census 2011)
Total : 725673
Male : 369534
Female : 356139
Brief About Latehar District
Latehar district has been created on 4th April 2001. Previously,
it was a subdivision of old Palamau district of Jharkhand State.
Latehar district is situated between 84deg. 31 min. East latitude
23 deg. 44.4 sec north latitude.
The geogrophical area of the district is 3651.59 square kilometers.
There are 7 (Seven) Development Blocks, namely Latehar, Chandwa,
Balumath, Manika, Barwadih, Garu and Mahuadar
Latehar was an integral part of Palamau; hence it is desirable to
take into consideration the historical account of Palamau as a whole.
The district of Palamau was constituted on 01 January 1928. Its
headquarter Daltonganj was named after Colonel Dalton, the Commissioner
of Chotanagpur during British rule. The area was inhabited by the
autochthones tribes like Chero, Oraon and Kharwar. Oraon ruled a
part of Palamau from Rohtasgarh. The Chero reigned in Palamau for
more than 200 years. Among the important Chero rulers, mention may
be made of Raja Medini Rai (1662-1674). He extended his sway over
South Gaya and large parts of Hazaribagh and Sarguja. Medini Rai's
memory has survived more for his justice than for his conquests.
He built one of the Palamau forts (the lower fort). His son Pratap
Rai built a fort near his father’s fort, which still exists
The influence of Mughals extended to Palamau during
the reign of Emperor Akbar, when Palamau was invaded by Raja Man
Singh in 1574. The troops left by him were however driven out in
1605, when Akbar died. In 1629 Shahjehan appointed Ahmad Khan as
Subedar of Patna and Palamau was given to him as jageer. He imposed
tribute on Chero rulers, but they refused to pay the tribute and
hence Palamau faced three successive invasions of Muslims.
The quarrel among the claimants of rights of kingship
on Palamau gave way to the British to invade Palamau for the first
time in 1772 and the fort of Palamau was captured. In 1832 the Cheros
and Kharwars raised their voice against administration. The insurgents
were however defeated in an engagements with the British forces
During 1857 movement Palamau was the most severely
affected zone of Chotanagpur plateau. The brothers Nilambar and
Pitambar, the chief of Bhogta clan of Kharwar tribe were holding
ancestral Jagirs. Taking advantage of the movements against British
rule they made up their minds to declare themselves to be independents
and were joined by many Chero Jagirdars. They jointly attacked on
British supporters. ‘O’ Malley (1907) has narrated that
Nilambar and Pitambar were eventually captured, tried and hanged.
Palamau played important role in freedom movement of the country.
A momentous event was the visit of Mahatma Gandhi along with Shri
Rajendra Prasad to Daltonganj on 11th January 1927 during his second
tour in Bihar. The August disturbances in 1942 had their echoes
in Palamau as well. Railway lines were dismantled, telegraph lines
were cut a large number of people both at the district headquarters
and the interior were arrested.
Thus it is apparent that Latehar as a part of
Palamau has undergone the impacts of Chero rule, British rule, Muslim
infusion, Jamindari and Jagirdari Pratha various freedom movements
etc. time to time.
Latehar town is the district headquarters of Latehar
district. The office of the Deputy Commissioner is located in Latehar
town. Deputy Commissioner is the head of the district administration
and is ex-officio chairman of various societies/agencies that are
involved in the development of the district. Deputy Commissioner
is also the District Programme Coordinator under NREGA. Various
Societies and governmental agencies that are in the direct control
of the Deputy Commissioner are D.R.D.A., D.U.D.A., MESO, Centrally
Sponsored Social sector, Welfare schemes etc.
No Panchayat elections have been held in the state
after 72/73rd amendment in the Constitution of India. Therefore,
as per the direction of the Govt, Deputy Commissioner is the ex-officio
Chairman of the District Rural Development Agency; which plans,
implements, supervises and monitors various centrally and State
The Deputy Development Commissioner is the ex-officio Managing Director
of D.R.D.A. as well as Chief Executive officer. There are seven
blocks in the district. At the block level Block Development officers
are involved in development works of the respective blocks, there
are supervisory level officials & Panchayat Sevaks and Jansewaks
at the panchayat level.
Besides the Agencies that have been referred above,
there are various line departments that also plan, implement, supervise
and monitor the schemes as per instruction of their respective departments.
1) District Agriculture Officer.
2) Divisional Forest Officer.
3) District Soil Conservation Officer.
4) District Welfare Officer.
5) District Fisheries Officer.
6) District Education Officer.
7) Civil Surgeon.
8) District Superintendent of Education.
9) Executive Engineer, R.E.O.
10) Executive Engineer, N.R.E.P.
11) Executive Engineer, Minor Irrigation.
12) Executive Engineer, P.W.D. (Road)
13) Executive Engineer, P.H.E.D.
14) Executive Engineer, Water Resources.
15) Executive Engineer, Electricity Board.
16) District Mining Officer.
17) G.M., D.I.C.
There is also a MESO Officer in this district,
who looks after various development schemes for the Tribals.
All these line departments though work under their
respective controlling officer of the department, but they are under
indirect control of Deputy Commissioner.
There is a 20-point Programme Implementation Committee
at the district level under the Chairmanship of Minister of state
of Govt., who is nominated by the State Govt. Deputy Commissioner
is ex-officio Secretary of the committee. This Committee supervises
and monitors implementation of the schemes of line departments.
been named after the village of the same name on Ranchi Daltonganj
Road. It is 100 k.m. away by road from Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand.
Latehar is famous for its rich natural beauty, forest, forest products
and mineral deposits. Latehar remained an integral part of Palamau
District as a sub division since 1924.
It got elevated from sub divisional status to a district on 4th
April 2001 vide Jharkhand Govt. Notification No 946 dated 04.04.2001.
Latehar is located on the north–west corner of Jharkhand in the
Palamau Commissionary. It is surrounded by Ranchi, Lohardaga, Gumla,
Palamau and Chatra district apart from Chhattisgarh state and situated
between 840.31’ East Longitude and 230 44.5’ North Latitude.
It’s a predominantly tribal district with almost 40% of the population
belonging to the schedule tribes and more than 66 % of total population
comprises SCs and STs. The total area of the district is 3,671 Sq.
Km and one of the block headquarters is more than 200 K.M. away
from the district headquarters.
There are seven Community Development Blocks in the district within
which distantly located villages are scattered amidst the dense
forest, hilly terrains and agricultural fields. The number of Scheduled
Castes and Scheduled Tribes is predominantly high here and Latehar
comes under Tribal Sub Plan Area.
(A) Centrally Sponsored Schemes: -
NATIONAL RURAL EMPLOYMENT GUARANTEE SCHEME
RASHTRIYA SAM VIKAS YOJANA (NOW BAKWARD REGIONS’ DEVELOPMENT
INDIRA AWAS YOJANA
SWARNA JAYANTI GRAM SWAROJGAR YOJANA
PRADHAN MANTRI GRAM SADAK YOJANA
WATERSHED PROGRAMMES (HARIYALI)
(B) Centrally Assisted Schemes:-
Latehar district being a predominantly tribal
district comes under the Scheduled Area. Therefore, the Govt. of
India provides special assistance under article 275 (I) of the Constitution
of India and various other heads. Project Office known as Micro
Economic Socio Organisation (MESO) was created to implement schemes
under Integrated Tribal Development Programme in Tribal Sub-Plan.
(C) State Sponsored Schemes:-
Under State Sponsored Scheme apart from health,
education irrigation schemes, other schemes under state govt. in
this district viz. C.M.G.S.Y. (Chief Minister Gram Setu Yojana)
and M.L.A. /M.L.C. Schemes are being implemented. The basic objective
of C.M.G.S.Y. is to provide connectivity of villages to panchayats
and panchayats to block headquarters by constructing bridges. Birsa
Munda Awas Yojana for PTGs and Deen Dayal Awas Yojana in the pattern
of IAY are being implemented. Mukhyamantri Kanyadan Yojana is another
ambitious scheme benefiting the village folk.
DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES BY DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION
It’s a well known fact that we do not have
local self government at the grass root level for almost three decades.
To fill the gap, the administration has started allotting the execution
works to S.H.G.s in general and women S.H.G.s in particular with
the consent of Gram Sabhas. Under the Rashtriya Sam Vikas Yojana,
more than 250 Anganwadi Centre buildings and more than 150 Primary
School buildings are being built by the women S.H.G.s. Similarly
under NREGS and SCA schemes, Women SHGs, Water Users’ Societies
and NGOs have been given the execution work.
Similarly, authority has been devolved to local
traditional village head. In the absence of local self govt., steps
have been taken to empower the traditional tribal village chieftains.
Thus the local Gram Sabhas headed by Manaki Mundas, Manjhis, Mahto
etc. have been strengthened through fresh Gazette notification in
the District Gazette. These traditional chieftains have been given
financial teeth by empowering them to settle their local sands deposits.
They have been given important roles in the selection, implementation
and monitoring of local development schemes.
It is to be noted that these individuals, institutions
or organizations, whether they are Gram Pradhans or Gram Sabhas
or S.H.G.s or N.G.O.s, they have joined the participation process
of development in the mainstream system, they will neither be attracted
nor will they permit their wards to disso late from the mainstream.
Further, whenever the elections for PRIs will take place, these
persons and institutions will be the major stakeholders. In other
way it can be said that capacity building process is going on before
the PRIs election, which would certainly strengthen the democratic
process at the grass root level.
The District Administration has also initiated
a unique programme of quality fish breeding. Thus, all such families
of SC and ST, who are living below poverty line, have been invited
to construct fish ponds on their personal land with govt. help.
Such fish hatcheries would not alienate the land rights of the landlords
and would give unhindered rights of fish production. The beneficiaries
of this scheme are being provided specialized training by the experts
of National Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore (W.B). This
scheme has gone a long way in the socio- economic upliftment of
the rural poor whose recurring income has increased and buying power
There are 19 High Schools, 1224 Middle and Primary
Schools, one Model High School at Netarhat (Mahuadanr Block), One
Govt. Polytechnic and one Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, 05 Kasturba
Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas and 10 Residential schools for S.C/S.T.
students in Latehar district. Latehar became the first district
in Jharkhand where cooked mid-day meal scheme was initiated in 200
selected primary schools comprising 20,782 enrolled students in
December 2003. Now all 1224 primary schools, including all EGS centres
and all minority schools, comprising 1, 37,000 students in January
2006 have been covered under this scheme and going on successfully.
With this the one fourth of total population of district has been
brought under the umbrella of mid day meal scheme. Each of these
Schools has been provided with Kitchen Sheds for cooking and storage
purpose and the same has been constructed by utilizing development
funds. Mother Committee “Sarswati Vahini”, comprising
all the mothers of students of the school and where one of the mothers
of the children becomes convener of the committee and supervises
the successful implementation of the scheme at the school.
It is also to be noted that Latehar district is
a part of Palamau Division, which is very infamous for so-called
starvation deaths and acute malnutrition standard and it had been
the poignant issue for extremists to make people hostile towards
government and administration.
After introduction of mid day meal schemes even
at the remotest part of the district, nutrition standard of the
children has improved to a great extent.
It’s also to be noted that absenteeism of
the schoolteachers was very high in the district, but after the
implementation of the scheme it has come down to less than 10%.
MDM became the boon for administration, because
the district launched the programme in a campaign mode and all the
field officers and employees, irrespective of their official assignments,
played instrumental role in introduction, implementation and monitoring
of the scheme. During this process, they could sneak through to
those so-called forbidden areas, where they could have never thought
to visit for monitoring of their departmental programmes.
Now not a single village is untouched by the administration
and not a single right meaning government employee has been obstructed
by the extremists in performance of his or her duties.
Under I.C.D.S. Programme, total no of 649 Anganawari
Centers are functioning in this district out of which none of the
Anganwari Centres is building less. Recently 207 more Anganwari
Centres have been sanctioned, for which construction of building
and selection of AWCs will take place very soon. Cooked meal is
being provided in two projects of the district and the result has
been very encouraging. All projects will be covered very soon under
the cooked meal scheme.
In Latehar district, 101 P.H.C.s, 7 Primary Health
Centres and One Sub-divisional Hospital are functioning and none
of the health centres is building less.
Child Health & Education
Infant mortality rate of the district is very high.
The main cause being:-
(a) Poor education of rural women.
(b) Negligence in health care during pregnancy.
(c) Mal nutrition and under nutrition.
The establishment of Aanganbari Kendras in remote
areas will provide the women and children a better plateform for
development of awareness towards health and education.
At present 227 Aanganabari Kendras are buildingless
.They are being run in private houses, leading to many functional
Problems. To ensure proper fuctioning of the programme, there is
proposal for the construction of Aanganabari Kendras. List of buildingless
Aanganbari Kendras is annexed here with annexure-IX.
Condition of health Services in this district
is not satisfactory. Main cause behind high maternal mortalities
and infant mortalities rate is poor health service in the district.
The district lack network of health Centres. The out break of malaria
is very frequent in the district which often taken the form of epidemic.
The development of network of health centers will lead to proper
health care and conciousness of the rural people.
There is proposal for the renovation of Primay
health Centre, Additional Primay Health Centres., Primay health
Economy and Irrigation
The economy of the people revolves round the forest, agriculture
(a) Agriculture: - A large number of people are
engaged in agricultural activities. Cultivation of paddy, maize,
cereals, wheat, oil seeds etc. are common. The people are either
working as agricultural labourers or cultivators. Kharif and Rabbi
are the main agricultural seasons. Karma festival is celebrated
for good production of crops.
(b) Forest: - Out of total geographical area of
4211-2508 sq. k.m., forest area covers nearly 2010.2245 sq. k.m.
The tribal economy revolves around using forest products, by products
and minor products. Kendu leaves, Bamboo and its manufactured products,
Mahua, fruits, leaves (used is the making of dona, pattal), lac
etc. play an important role in the economic activity of the people.
People also hunt animals for food and ‘Jani shikar’
festival is related to this hunting habit.
(c) Mines and Minerals: - The geological reports
say that the district is very rich in various mineral deposits.
There is abundance of deposit of Coal, Bauxite, Laterite, Dolomite,
and Graphite etc. Granite, Quartz, Fireclay, Felspar etc. The excavation
and exploration of these minerals have provided job opportunities
to the inhabitants of this hinterland to some extent because these
minerals have not been fully explored at large scale and there are
no mineral based industries in the district.
(d) Animal Husbandry: -The quality of livestock
is very poor. Cow, goats etc. are of local variety and the average
milk yield is very less. There is a vast scope in the field of animal
husbandry in Latehar.
(e) Trade and commerce: - In place of old Mahajans
and landlords, various banks are operating their branches is the
district but it is a matter of fact that most of the villages are
so scattered that the system of primary trade in the hands of vyaparis
and village sahukars still continues. Paddy thrashing, dona pattal
making, bamboo basket making, selling of mahua flowers. Lacs, kendu
leaves and other minor forest produces are main components of trading
activities. In the absence of major industries and employment opportunities,
the options of economic development are limited. Animal husbandry,
piggery and fisheries etc. have good potential, but this sector
has still remained unexplored.